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Old 15-06-2008, 09:32   #1
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Need Suggestions on What Boat to Buy

SO, here's the challenge. You guys come up with suggestions for a boat for me.

I want to do mainly coastal cruising, but I'd like the capability of going offshore within reason.

I currently have a 1982 Sea Ray SRV360. It meats all the criteria below except it gets about 1.5 MPG. And it's not trailerable (optional criteria). Max range is 600.

What I consider to be mandatory:
  • diesel
  • 8-10 MPG
  • minimum range: 600 miles (1000-1500 would be nice)
  • genset and AC
  • enclosed helm
  • All the standard cruising needs: head, galley, etc.
  • under $50,000
would like
  • 2 cabins / sleep 4
  • be capable of over 12kts in a pinch
  • Two mutually exclusive features: flybridge and trailerable.
The 600 mile range could be based on NOT running the genset.

The solution can include extensive modifications. An Albin 25 has the efficiency but isn't quite big enough for me. But I'm considering the Albin. 1gph at 6-8knots is pretty good (I had one guy say he did 10kts at 1gph, but I am skeptical). Fitting it with 100+ gal tanks would be problematic. As would getting in a genset and AC. Or permanently enclosing it (so the AC has a chance of actually working) would be a job. And it's a bit small. I'd rather have something with a little more entertainment space.

I have thought about buying a Katrina-damaged sailboat, 35-40', and converting to a motor vessel. Would need to be shoal draft, and be conducive to reducing the ballast.

Note: This is mainly an exercise as I am in no position to buy anything right now. I also currently live where the neighborhood covenants prevent me from having a project boat in the yard. It's for future planning.
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Old 15-06-2008, 18:08   #2
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My guess is you are looking at a 28-32 foot trawler or other displacement boats. Sorry I don't have any pricing or sensitivities to motor boats at this point.
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Old 15-06-2008, 19:10   #3
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Project boat?

Anyone who gets 10 kts on one gal (about 4litres) an hour probably only does it on short runs where measurement errors creep in. I would have expected 10kts to use 20+litres/hr (5+gal/hr) and the boat would have to be at least partially planning. I would doubt if most trawlers are run for more than an hour at a time. To get accurate fuel consumption figures the boat would need to run for at least a few hours staring with full tanks and then filling up again.

The one nm per litre fuel consumption would only normally be achieved if running below hull speed which is normally taken as 1.4 times the square root of the waterline length in feet.

Catamarans with long skinny hulls can do better than this while a trawler dragging a large flat stern could do worse.

So if you want to keep fuel consumption down plan on 5 kts.

If you hunt round long enough you could well find one of the smaller trawlers with a single smallish engine and large fuel tanks that might work for you.

The engine would need to be in top condition.

Trying to modify an existing boat would be a long frustrating project.

What you are looking for might be like this boat on Yachtworld :-
34' PDQ Trawler Cat Year: 2003
Current Price: US$ 230,000
  • Located In Vancouver Island, BC
  • Hull Material: Fiberglass
  • Engine/Fuel Type: Twin Diesel
  • YW# 29984-1705239
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Old 15-06-2008, 19:15   #4
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SO, here's the challenge. You guys come up with suggestions for a boat for me.
Hello again sir. $50k usd, dunno (maybe a tax depreciated inshore lobster boat with a refit?), but do have some "food for thought", will get back to this thread later.
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Old 15-06-2008, 19:57   #5
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Ex-Calif - yep, that sounds about right.

Borcay - Sorry, that should have read 8-10kts, not MPG. 6-8MPG. If I found something that would cruise 6kts at 1gph I'd be happy.

Oh, and the 34' PDQ Trawler Cat is about 5 times my budget. And 5gph is high for my specs. The Albin 25, based on the worst numbers I've seen, should do 6kts at 1gph.

Trying to refit an existing boat WOULD be a long project. But don't forget there are plenty of people who build their boats from scratch. Depends on the personality whether it's frustrating. For me (and my friend with a shop) it would be fun. Frustrating at times, but rewarding. We have already started discussing the converted sailboat concept. If I do that, I'll sell my current boat to up my cash flow and plan on just putzing around in my 16' center console for a few years. Over a few years I'd probably have more than $50k in it, but maybe not if the original boat is bought for less than $10k.

exfishnz - That sounds like a possibility, but most of those are really ragged out. I definitely won't rule that out on a first pass.



So, questions: what kind of fuel performance do some of you get on a sailboat at around 36'? And what kind of sailboat do you think would be a good candidate for a conversion to power? Needs to be shoal draft, and as I say, need to be able to reduce ballast. Other criteria to think about? I have thought of several things, but I want to hear what you come up with.

-dan
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Old 15-06-2008, 22:08   #6
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A motor boat that can get >6nm/gal needs to be designed primarily for that reason. Long narrow and light with an efficient motor and prop. This is not your run of the mill motor yacht. Look up Benford yacht design group- they have a bunch of boats that fit and some good articles on fuel efficiency and yacht design.
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Old 15-06-2008, 22:38   #7
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If you are not averse to sails you might consider a motor sailer. It's either the best of, or the worst of, both worlds depending on who you ask.

I coudn't begin to tell you about my (albeit smaller than you state) sailboat's fuel burn. I put in 10 liters about every 3-4 months. Ocassionally we'll get a continuous 3-4 hour motor but usually we are sails up.
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Old 16-06-2008, 05:45   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dacust View Post
So, questions: what kind of fuel performance do some of you get on a sailboat at around 36'? And what kind of sailboat do you think would be a good candidate for a conversion to power?
I average about 3/4 gallon per hour at 6 kts, in fairly calm conditions. It can go up to 1 gallon per hour if motoring into wind and chop. My boat has a full-keel, a 32' waterline, and weighs about 12 tons. I'd question the wisdom of trying to convert a sailboat to a power boat--why not look for a motor sailor, like Dan suggested?
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Old 16-06-2008, 07:09   #9
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Dan, Hud,

If I was to add the disadvantage of a mast, I think I'd go straight sail. But I am willing to be convinced if you have other ideas, like motorsailers that have easily stepped masts? But then maybe what I want is a motorsailer hull for a motorboat? And then theres the question of availability. I don't see many motorsailers on the market, and the ones there aren't cheap.

Hud,

That's the kind of fuel consumption I was looking for. The thought is that by removing the mast and removing a lot of ballast, then adding back weight in the fuel tanks, I'd end up with overall less weight, and a very fuel efficient, self-righting motorboat. This is theory only as we haven't done the math. We're drastically changing the center of gravity, so it could turn out that we couldn't remove nearly as much ballast weight as we might think.

The whole theory is this: I am not familiar with any motorboat with as efficient hull as a sailboat. At least any that can be had cheap. There are cruising cats but those don't come cheap.
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Old 16-06-2008, 07:38   #10
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Quote:
That sounds like a possibility, but most of those are really ragged out
I mentioned commercial boats because they're generally depreciated & have to go through annual surveys on their hull/engineering etc. If their paint looks roughed up, then one can always sand it & repaint it, also, they generally use continuous duty engines (vs high rated pleasure).


Quote:
be capable of over 12kts in a pinch

You'll need excessive hp, thus negating a fuel economy hp engine.


Quote:
flybridge

Something else for windage (not good). Perhaps you could put hand rails on the pilot house with a folding seat & a 2nd steering station (or remote auto pilot) with engine/box controls. I knew a bloke years ago whom had a 30' that had sliding roof panels in the pilot house so he could open it up & even look out when berthing, how good the panels sealed from the water - I don't know.


Quote:
genset and AC

Is a genset really needed? Is it just for AC? If so, how about a 12/24v unit from Glacier Bay (12 volt air conditioner) or skipping the AC & painting the hull/deck white & installing fans, ventilation hatches, wind scoops, bimmi's & drinking more beer etc.


Quote:
If I found something that would cruise 6kts at 1gph I'd be happy.
In theory that may be possible (in dead calm water). As an example only; a continuous duty Lister TR3 (max 35hp @ 2500 rpm) will give peak torque of 87 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm. At this rpm & engine load of 75%, the fuel usage is 0.96 usg p/hr.

I was going to mention some more fuel data stats but Mr Hud3's good example post has bet me to it
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Old 16-06-2008, 07:52   #11
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Quote:
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then adding back weight in the fuel tanks
You mean creating integrated fuel tanks into the keel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dacust View Post
I am not familiar with any motorboat with as efficient hull as a sailboat.
Ironically, Mr Hud3's hull is like a fishing boat, deep & full keel.
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Old 16-06-2008, 08:40   #12
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You mean creating integrated fuel tanks into the keel?
Nah, I'm not that adventurous. I'm thinking belly tanks. I'm talking about adding back weight overall, not in the same place. That's why the math starts getting tricky because it's changing the center of gravity. Removing keel weight AND adding fuel weight up higher. Moving the weight like that has a huge effect even with small amounts of weight. And changing how it sits in the water is not good, either, so I'd think the overall weight should be kept the same.

But by removing the mast and rigging, I don't think I'd need as much righting power. I think I'm right in theory, but maybe amount I'd gain is so small that the amount of weight I'd need to move would result in an unstable craft. Which is part of why I'm asking questions in here. So what I think is the crux is how much weight could be moved higher?

With all the math floating around in the multi vs mono threads, etc., I thought some of that might appear in here. But maybe I've offended people by suggesting making a motorboat out of a sailboat. Then again, maybe I just sound like a nut. Or maybe the idea IS nuts.

I HAVE thought of removing ballast from the top of the keel and adding fuel tanks, but that would be a HUGE project in itself. The engineering would be frightful. The ballast most likely adds some of the structural integrity, so suspending that much weight would require a huge amount of added support. So, no, I don't think that's an option. I've thought of lots of ideas I've abandoned for one reason or another. Building from scratch is not something I really want to tackle. At least, not now.
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Old 16-06-2008, 11:12   #13
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Your response to "12kts":
Quote:
Originally Posted by exfishnz View Post
You'll need excessive hp, thus negating a fuel economy hp engine.
That's why I said a nice to have, but probably not.

Your response to "flybridge"
Quote:
Originally Posted by exfishnz View Post
Something else for windage (not good). Perhaps you could put hand rails on the pilot house with a folding seat & a 2nd steering station (or remote auto pilot) with engine/box controls. I knew a bloke years ago whom had a 30' that had sliding roof panels in the pilot house so he could open it up & even look out when berthing, how good the panels sealed from the water - I don't know.
Yeah, the flybridge is probably a non-starter. That's why it was also on the nice-to-have list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by exfishnz View Post
Is a genset really needed? Is it just for AC? If so, how about a 12/24v unit from Glacier Bay (12 volt air conditioner) or skipping the AC & painting the hull/deck white & installing fans, ventilation hatches, wind scoops, bimmi's & drinking more beer etc.
The reason I thought a genset is because I could have an engine just the right size for propulsion and basic 12v needs and be the most fuel efficient possible. Then use the genset only when I know I have spare fuel. I could always set the boat up with adding a genset in mind and see how I do without A/C. Other people do it, but I'm a wimp. Might get used to it though. But I just can't sleep when it's too hot. If what I come up with is trailerable, then it'll also get used on Southern lakes, mainly in the summer. They don't get trade winds and can be stifling. I could definitely get by with just A/C enough for the main berth, but I'd rather make it comfortable for guests, as well. My 80 year old parents, for starters. Of course, they mey be past cruising by the time I get around to this. Could be 5-10 years...

So, basically, after hearing your points, I am starting to let go of the things on the "nice-to-have" list. Thanks for the input.

So, what I got so far is either the Albin or a converted sailboat. With the Albin, I sacrifice room. Down to just a v-berth after adding genset and fuel tanks. Of course, this is before having any basis to know if I can even add that much weight to the boat. With the sailboat conversion, it's a major project that will take years. Even the Albin would be 1-2 years I bet. Either could be trailerable. If I go non-trailerable, it expands to finding a trawler, but the 6MPG goal becomes more elusive at that point.

For ease of getting into it, the Albin seems the best bet. Higher entry price (seldom see one as low as $10k, most are $15k or above), but I'd have a usable boat immediately. Then can just modify as I go along.

-dan
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Old 26-07-2008, 04:04   #14
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Our new Eco Power cat will fit the bill for your range, in excess of 1200 NM In order to address the problem of the high cost of diesel we have under development a 42 ft eco power cat that will be hybrid powered the top speed will be around 11 knots and a fuel consumption of one gallon or 4 liters per hour at a cruise speed of 7 knots.
This cat will have wave piercing hulls ,Ocean crossing capability and will have a width of 15 ft so most European and American channels can be traveled.
This cat will have 2 large bedrooms each with a California King sized bed and plenty space for entertaining.
The 10 Kw electric motors will be of the Pod drive type and will function as rudders
Weight of this Powercat will be in the region of 7000 kilo or 16000 lbs
she will be build in epoxy thru infusion with basalt fibers in order to save weight.
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Old 26-07-2008, 08:22   #15
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I have seen motorsailors with the mast removed and just used as power boats. There were some for sale on yacht world. You can get .75 gph @ 5~6 knots with them.
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